Can you refer to yourself simply as a Pagan?

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I know labels are not too important, though I was just wondering out of interest. I know Paganism is an umbrella term for a number of paths, though if you don’t fit directly with any of those paths would calling yourself a Pagan be appropriate? Thanks!

9 Comments

  1. I know of quite a few people who do exactly this. You’re the one that decides what labels to apply to yourself, if this particular label feels right, why not? 🙂

  2. Of course you can refer to yourself as a Pagan. Except for the ‘Purest’ , most all of us call ourselves Pagans. It’s just easier and saves time not trying to explain what “XYZ” religion is.

  3. Yes you can.
    ETA: Actually Eclectic doesn’t mean chucking a whole heap of things together and hoping for the best. Eclectic means having a strong knowledge or “core” and then incorporating ideas and concepts from other religions that “work”. Its not like a smorgasbord where you just pick and choose. There has to be some ethics involved.

  4. your technically eclectic pagan if you dont fit into any group or ‘lable of paganism
    but yes its fine, im eclectic dont fit into thepaths but im still very much pagan andi know it
    😉

  5. You can, but you’re risking a lot of misconceptions.
    People usually think of “pagans” as fluffy neo-hippy wiccan types who hug trees and chant in circles, or on the other hand, as devil worshippers who sacrifice animals.
    If you don’t mind people walking away with such misconceptions that the word “pagan” may cause, then you’re welcome to use it.
    Myself, I prefer a slightly more narrow definition. When people don’t know what it means, they’re forced to ask me “what does that mean” and listen to the explanation which hopefully clears the misconceptions.

  6. Pretty much. I have been Wiccan for quite some time now, but as my beliefs don’t sync entirely with Wicca, I usually refer to myself as either a Wiccan, a para-Wiccan, or a Wiccan-leaning Pagan.
    @ Quiet Knight: I do the same thing, more for the sake of clarity to other Pagans, although for non-Pagans it doesn’t clarify anything and probably only confuses them more. I like referring to myself as something along the lines of “a Wiccan-leaning Pagan semi-monotheistic Goddess-worshipping Demi-Witch”. If I’m trying to confuse someone, it works every time!!! 🙂

  7. *chuckles* I agree with Ymmo…
    I tell people that I’m “a solitary, eclectic, Celtic, Dao-centric deist.”
    It’s a definite discussion starter! LOL

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